Bryan Crawford and I were arguing over who would win in a shooting contest hosted at the Team USA basketball practice between Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook. Bryan and his usual homerism towards the state of Illinois clearly had him talking crazy about Deron and how he used to be chunky back in the day. I, on the other hand, was clearly leaning towards Mr. Zero Appreciation, my own homerism towards the Oklahoma City Thunder, and his buzzcut mohawk he was rocking for the summer.
Of course, his shooting partner’s buzzcut was even better. He was marine.
Deron, Russ and the other stars were paired together with our service men and women who serve our country with pride and participated in a shooting contest that Deron Williams and a Naval officer won. Bryan Crawford roasted my choice for a solid 20 minutes. Good times were had in DC.
The Nike World Basketball Festival 2012 held “Hoops for Troops,” where both the USA Men’s and Women’s basketball teams entertained fans with skills clinic instruction and a practice that brought fans to their feet.
Kicking off with an introduction from USA Women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma, the day began with the USA Women’s basketball players and coaches who hosted a clinic for daughters of the troops. The girls learned skills for shooting, ball handling, passing and perimeter moves.
The highlight of the day was the USA Men’s basketball team practice with approximately 4,000 military troops and family guests in attendance at the DC Armory. Kevin Durant showed off the silky jumper, Kobe Bryant flashed that egregious underbite countless times, LeBron James dunked the ball…real, real hard. Team USA went through the motions, grew together as a team, and prepared for their conquest to the 2012 Olympics in London.
Check out the photos below for more from the Nike World Basketball Festival 2012 here in DC.f
Eddie Maisonet is the founder and editor emeritus of The Sports Fan Journal. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for ESPN.com. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 fitteds and snapbacks, and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”